Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Deep is down.
for always and utterly: tabaqui ..................
It wasn't just hot down here.
It was Africa hot.
"I thought caves were supposed to be cold." Dean muttered still trying to distract himself with more lines from Matthew Broderick 80's movies. "Like see your own breath cold."
The smooth and sometime graceful arches of time were posed above his head. Steeps and dips slipped into shadow. They were more than well deep into the twisting tunnels and it was the opposite of good times.
"You gettin anywhere?"
Sam was ahead.
Dean wiped a hand across his sweaty forehead, eyes, mouth, and reconsidered the wisdom of absorbent sporty head bans. His white T-shirt was plastered to him like a second skin and his muddy jeans were one step away from molesting him. Tri-coloured wrists bans could have accompanied the imaginary head gear. It all would look goofy as hell but so did a lot of other things that could get the job done.
Like Sam at the moment.
"They all vary in temperature," his brother grunted, trying to gain purchase with his knees and boots on the sandy slope of the rock into a dark hole that lead upwards or sideways into who knew what. The upper half of his body was in there somewhere. "Some mines can rise to over 100 degrees...eh....like... like this one....arghuh...sharp...sharp...so sharp..."
"Rock is like that." It was a job like any other job. Dean figured they'd get in, get out, and hit a bar he saw 3 exits down. But they had a goal. And what would be so hard about finding a gold handled mining shovel from 1876?
"Dean? ...........heh...........This is tighter than I thought." Sam went limp to catch his breath.
Oh, yeah. The whole almost dying trying to find cursed things was what it typically was. When they rolled in the small desert town, he'd kinda had a few doubts about the man who had filled in the blanks about what they'd learned about the myth. These old gold mines that twisted for miles and miles around under their feet held a lot of hideous secrets. The miners had drove down deep and broken down walls into caverns that the local native population deemed blasphemous to enter. The grizzled man had offered them a map with no fee didn't bother him. Dean didn't blame locals for being suspicious. This shit was serious as there was blood splatter with little kids missing.
Time had told him not to trust much for free. But beggars couldn't be choosers.
"Yup. Still my name."
"I think I-I can see something."
"Does it have teeth?"
"No, it's a light."
"What kind of light?"
"The light that comes in caves?"
"Maybe it's time we should get out of here."
In fact, he thought it was a little weird so much the cave's map varied right away as soon as they had slid ungracefully down the slanted graveled mine shaft. The map had located a natural back cave.
"Wait?" Sam soundly triumphant with a wheeze of air. "I think I can see it widen just in a little ways."
Dean had no idea why the length, width and stature of his brother made the idiot think that he could squeeze himself through the slim slivers of ledge rock to go further down or up into the earth. That kinda of stupidity was usually Dean's domain that he usually made out mostly intact. Sammy had never had that particular brand of luck when it came to outside chance.
"You might wanna try backing up right about the fuckin' now," he suggested. "The map here says nothing is that way but some dead ends. And some route called the 'Devils' Birth Canal' that ends in....well.. it's not been routed.... Sounds real fun and spacious. We should book into a time share. "
"I just want to see if there's a larger cavern past this....."
Dean seated himself on a fairly comfortable outcrop of a rock formation that unfathomable amounts of time and drips of water had made a pretty good curvature for his ass. He could even lean back with ease. A little damp but pretty sweet. Nature. He grinned. Why did it always go out of its way to want to help and mess the shit out of you every time?
"I-I can see something-oh geeze.....no no no!...aw man...."
Dean heard the rattle of a military grade metal flash light slip from his brother's hand and strike much more violently against jagged stone as it tumbled down to some unknown depths. Fuck. That was expensive.
"Why again," Dean asked in the murky dark, illuminated by the the dying yellow pulse of the now one remaining source of light."... we thought it was a good idea to come in here with just a homeless dude's map?"
"All explored cave subterranean systems have maps. " Sam choked from somewhere beyond, voice muffled and muted in an odd way within the confines of the small tunnel he'd discovered.
"Yeah," Dean crumpled the creased paper in his fist. "Sure. It's an invaluable piece to the puzzle."
"Of course all exploration has its flaws, but the basic configuration is...is..--" Well tread boots skid, both braced on the small opening of the tunnel. "Ah..!-shit...."
Dean coughed on the rising dust from the struggle.
"I guess we could always eat it," Dean considered thoughtfully at the heavy well made fiber map. "Before we start looking at each other like a roasted chicken," he huffed a small laugh in the wavering dark. "You know like in bug's bunny cartoons."
"We-ve....WE'VE!...We have!...only been here, only been here...-hah!... hahhh.......hah... uh....."
Dean realized Sam was trying to breath and yell at the same time in the constricted space he had finally stopped trying to wedge himself into.
"Only...urghhhh...only....only BEEN down here...I few....few...haah...haaaaa..."
He checked his watch. "I know. We've only BEEN in this freakin' hole for an hour but I had a reallllllly early lunch."
Sam's legs had stopped moving around so much, his one viable arm out and his red dusted fist clutching, gripping and re gripping at the narrow entryway.
"uUhhhh...haaa..." came the gasp.
The pitch in his brother's voice changed from curious to something else entirely. Time to end this lame parade.
Standing up and cracking his knuckles, Dean considered all the angles and decided to go the most straight forward route. It wouldn't feel nice. Mostly for Sam but he had no desire to leave his brother stuck in this hole in the ground. Especially after looking for a promised artifact/garden tool and no such thing was found.
Dean took a hold on Sam's hips and yanked.
Crumbling rock crackled dully and slurred into a harsh hiss of debris, striking his face and stinging his eyes. Before he realized he'd struck the opposite wall and Sam's full weight was on top of him. Dean coughed with the cloud of dust they produced and tried to roll out from under his brother but failed.
His head was ringing with bells.
Little yellow deformed birds tweeting songs he hated. Some interesting lights that reminded him of a concert in Jersey when he was 17. Even his annoying travel alarm clock. Dean moaned bringing a hand to the stream of blood going and blinding his eye. His other arm was beside him in the confines of fallen rock. The steady pant of Sam's panic and soak of sweat made him remember what to do. The exit is one hour away. One flashlight.
With a gigantic and angry noise, Dean heaved them both forcing Sam on his knees to a crawl.
"That way." he ordered. Oh god. This hurt. "Now."
After 15 minutes Sam stopped ahead of him. Dean felt a little bad knowing how shredded his brother's knees were, like his.
"The entrance." Sam panted.
The tunnel was so narrow, he had to push past his brother half way. There was no opening back to the desert of stunted pines. The dark wind of the tunnel widened and carried on. No where to go. Up. Down....Sideways?
They had gotten into that eatable map.
Dean started wishing like a kid before Christmas. Despite all odds Dean wasn't all surprised by the sudden bars on his phone. His call was even answered personally. He slumped down to the gritty ground with a half smile. There was something that noticed them. Something sleepy vile black and slow coming towards them seeping through the tunnels. Pushing the air in front of it with a rotten sick smoke.
Dean took a deep breath and exhaled a laugh of embarrassment.
"A little help?"
Then nothing but a swoop of wings and a hectic flurry of exasperated light ...